Comparison betweenin situandex situgamma measurements on land areas within a decommissioning nuclear site: a case study at Dounreay

Rostron, Peter D, Heathcote, John A and Ramsey, Michael H (2014) Comparison betweenin situandex situgamma measurements on land areas within a decommissioning nuclear site: a case study at Dounreay. Journal of Radiological Protection, 34 (3). pp. 495-508. ISSN 0952-4746

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Abstract

Measurements made in situ with gamma detectors and ex situ measurements of soil samples in a laboratory can have complementary roles in the assessment of radioactively contaminated land on decommissioning nuclear sites. Both in situ and ex situ methods were used to characterize 137Cs contamination within an area at the Dounreay site in Scotland. The systematic difference (bias) between estimates of the mean activity concentration was found to be non-significant when in situ measurements were interpreted using a linear depth model, based on ex situ measurements made at two different depths. An established method of evaluating the random components of measurement uncertainty was used. The random component of analytical uncertainty in the in situ measurements, made in field conditions, was found to exceed that for the ex situ measurements, made in the controlled conditions of a laboratory. However, contamination by the target radionuclide was found to be heterogeneous over small spatial scales. This resulted in significantly higher levels of random sampling uncertainty in individual ex situ measurements. As in situ measurements are substantially less costly, a greater number of measurements can be made, which potentially reduces the uncertainty on the mean. Providing the depth profile of contaminants can be modelled with confidence, this can enable estimates of mean activity concentration over an averaging area to be made with lower overall uncertainties than are possible using ex situ methods.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Depositing User: Nikoleta Kiapidou
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2015 09:33
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2017 09:24
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/55045

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